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Category: Criminal Law
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My opposing counsel in my crime victim case requested what

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My opposing counsel in my crime victim case requested what I believe is a motion to modify my supbpoenas. If you would enter a quick chat Id appreciate it. The reason they gave is that it was my signature as petitioner appearing pro se and not a court officer. Unless I misheard, I was given ok by the judge to do that at the prehearing. She said because I was acting as my own attorney I could do that. The paralegal present did not object. I followed up with a phone call later and asked when to submit them to the court & she said to simply bring them to the hearing.


 


What's more disconcerting is that my opposing counsel said some attorney is representing a lot of my witnesses and informed her that he is advising them not to show up because of an invalid subpoena. She left the attorney's name out, but I believe this attorney I may have contacted to take my case for me and now is turning around and representing my witnesses. He is known for unethical behavior and has been barred before. My opposing counsel went on to say that the witnesses have conferred with one another.


 


Basically, I'm afraid they're trying to get together to not only talk about the subpoenas but protect the people who assaulted me and get their stories straight.


 


I called a clerk who asked a judge and said I have authorization to serve my own subpoenas but not sign them.  Does the ruling of the judge at the pre-hearing override that when the opposing counsel did not object.


 


Also, maybe there's some middle ground.  I'd like to keep my original subpoena intact.  Can the judge issue an order of some sort to the witnesses compelling the adherence to the original subpoena, even though it had my signature instead of a court officer.  Shoot, I was told I could issue my own.

Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I'm very sorry to tell you that I must believe that either the judge misspoke, or you misunderstood what was said at the pre-hearing. Either way, the failure to object would not make the otherrwise disallowed act allowed.

I can assure you that in no jurisdiction may a non-attorney, pro se litigant issue their own subpoenas. A subpoena to compel a witness to testify in a court hearing may only be issued by a clerk of the court, an officer of the court or a licensed attorney who is representing a party in a matter of litigation. That is the law.

As a consequence, when you issued your own subpoenas for witnesses, is rendered those subpoenas defective, and the witnesses may legally ignore them, and without fear of any penalty. Worse, if you are relying on these witnesses to prove your case, then you may well fail to adequately defend or prosecute your case, and lose.

You wrote: What's more disconcerting is that my opposing counsel said some attorney is representing a lot of my witnesses and informed her that he is advising them not to show up because of an invalid subpoena. This is entirely legal to do. She left the attorney's name out, but I believe this attorney I may have contacted to take my case for me and now is turning around and representing my witnesses. If this is the case, it borders on unethical behavior---but I don't believe it crosses that line . As the attorney is not specifically representing a party to the action whom you have sued (apposing party), they probably will not be found to have violated any law. He is known for unethical behavior and has been barred before. My opposing counsel went on to say that the witnesses have conferred with one another. It is quite common for witnesses to speak with one another---and the way to deal with that in during questioning at the hearing or trial that they are subpoenaed to. You cannot prevent them from speaking to each other though.

Your witness subpoenas are not valid for your intended purpose, and I strongly recommend that you go to the court today and have subpoenas properly issued by the clerk so that you can get them served in time for your hearing/trial.


You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

Doug

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You explained that well, thank you. Even though the answer is not favorable to me I appreciate you being honest. Now I can do something about it. For that, I will give you an excellent service rating.


 


I do have a few random questions if you don't mind.


 


Now that I will reissue these subpoenas is that going to impact my case in any way (other than having a hard time finding them, because they want to hide of course)?


 


I issued them checks with those subpoenas as required. I don't want to cancel those checks. It's a lot of money. How can I get around that? Can I just issue a statement with the subpoena to say to use the check previously served and bring both affidavits with me to court? However, they could say they threw them out because it was an invalid subpoena. I don't know if they would have a legal basis for that or not.


 


My witnesses are uncooperative and I REALLY want to know the name of that attorney. They won't return my calls. How do I find out who the attorney representing my witnesses is? Do I have a right to know that?

Hi Dan,

You asked:


Now that I will reissue these subpoenas is that going to impact my case in any way (other than having a hard time finding them, because they want to hide of course)? Once you get a properly issued subpoena served, all will be fixed.



I issued them checks with those subpoenas as required. I don't want to cancel those checks. It's a lot of money. How can I get around that? Can I just issue a statement with the subpoena to say to use the check previously served and bring both affidavits with me to court? However, they could say they threw them out because it was an invalid subpoena. I don't know if they would have a legal basis for that or not.You are going to have to stop payment on those checks if you can, and issue new ones required to be served with the subpoenas.



My witnesses are uncooperative and I REALLY want to know the name of that attorney. They won't return my calls. How do I find out who the attorney representing my witnesses is? Do I have a right to know that? Knowing who the attorney is, is not going to help you. As the attorney is not representing them in your case---you cannot serve the attorney with the subpoenas for the witnesses. As the witnesses are apparently reluctant to cooperate, I strongly urge you to have the local sheriff serve the subpoenas.

 

Doug

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I still want to know the name of the attorney to see if it is the guy who I established attorney client relationship with. Regardless of whether he is allowed to do it, I'd still like to know if it's the guy I talked to.

I still want to know the name of the attorney to see if it is the guy who I established attorney client relationship with. Regardless of whether he is allowed to do it, I'd still like to know if it's the guy I talked to.

Unless and until he formally appears on behalf of a witness, by filing a pleading in the court, you may never know.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok. So what am I supposed to put on the signature line if I don't put my name on it?


 


 

That will be entered by the clerk when they sign the subpoena.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, thank you. One last follow-up question. Promise. I have less than 3 weeks before the hearing. Can they be served up to one day before?

Hi Dan,

The date of service of a witness subpoena is not critical. Serve it at any time.

Please remember that the Rules of JustAnswer specify that each customer ask one question in each question thread. I would respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you open a new question thread if you have a new question to ask.

Doug
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